Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs: 5 MOOC Platforms You Should Know About

Although we featured major MOOC platforms Coursera, Udacity, and edX in the last post, today we’d like to introduce you to a few more great learning platforms that will help you enrich your knowledge. Read on to discover more about a growing network of MOOC providers: 

NovoEd

Started as a Stanford MOOCs experiment (Stanford Venture Lab), NovoEd now is an independent MOOC platform, currently offering 9 classes. Unlike the courses from many other platforms, NovoEd courses are about more than just reading, watching videos and taking quizzes. Their emphasis is on collaboration and learning by doing.

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The most famous courses, Crash Course on Creativity and Technology Entrepreneurship at NovoEd.

 

In the class Technology Entrepreneurship, for example, you need to find a team with which you will create a marketing plan, first prototypes, and even start your own startup. Assignments are unique since you are getting practical knowledge and developing new skills instead of simply remembering facts and recalling concepts.

Many NovoEd professors,- such as Chuck Eesley of TechEntr – are fantastic at keeping in touch via social media, watching and participating in discussions via Facebook and Twitter. Whilst students are discouraged from contacting them directly, most professors seem happy to participate in discussions.

Open Learning

Although Open Learning is a relatively new edtech startup from Australia (founded by Adam Brimo and Richard Buckland), it is already a very promising place for studying. Courses are created by professionals and teachers. Freedom of expression and a rich library of available tools allow them to make a unique experience for students.

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The most popular courses started recently in OpenLearning.

Students have opportunities to engage with learning and the community in new ways: tracking progress, earning badges and blogging about your thoughts, ideas and experiences helps to enrich your learning experience. Getting lost is impossible because course structure, profiles,and notifications are easy to learn and use.

Since Open Learning is a new platform, there are only a few courses on offer. However, the courses are very diverse in terms of time to complete (for example, Entrepreneurship by Taylor’s University takes 17 weeks whilst Service Marketing – The Next Level only takes 3 weeks). Content also varies heavily,from the ubiquitous Web Design and Development to the unique Observing and Analysing Performance in Sport.

In our list of MOOCs, Open Learning is the youngest platform. However, as it introduces new ways of teaching, studying and is evolving quickly, so might stumble upon a fascinating adventure whilst exploring it.

Saylor Foundation

The Saylor Foundation has a long history. It was established in 1999 by the prominent entrepreneur, founder and CEO of BI company MicroStrategy Michael J. Saylor and in 2008 switched focus to providing free, open, university-like classes for people around the world.

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Saylor University’s Areas of Study.

Currently, you can find more than 200 different courses on saylor.org. There are two key features that really make Saylor stand out: lots of courses on Humanities and Business and the level of courses are higher and more college-like. All courses are self-paced but a time-advisory system helps you to plan your studies. Moreover, after completion you can go to a testing center and get credits for most of their courses.

Saylor Foundation is a great platform if you want to study at your own pace, seek knowledge at a higher-than-introductory level and have good organizational skills.

Hint for high school students: you can find a helpful course, SAT prep, on Saylor.

 

Udemy

In 2010, the Udemy learning platform was launched by Eren Ball, Oktay Calgar, and Gagan Biyany. Its slogan “The Academy of You” perfectly describes Udemy’s philosophy and its courses: everyone can create a course for others to learn from. Due to this, the courses are very diverse: from Organic Chemistry to Makeup Techniques and Applications. Moreover, most of the courses on Udemy are unique and don’t fit traditional academic characteristics. Where else on the web can you find such courses as How to Train Puppy?,Learn How to Juggle or Adapting Novel to Screenplay?

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Featured and new courses worth taking a look in Udemy.

All courses are self-paced but most of them are not free. However, prices vary and if you find a course unsatisfactory, you can always request a refund during first 30 days without providing any explanation. Don’t have time or money to take course right now? No worries, Udemy has a Wishlist feature that allows you to save and try the course later.

Udemy is transforming education by making it peer-to-peer and going beyond traditional academic subjects.

Open Learning Initiative

The Open Learning Initiative was started in 2001 as a grant-funded project by the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University. Since then, 6 charity organizations, including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have supported them. What makes this platform unique is the integration of Carnegie Mellon’s expertise in cognitive tutoring into online courses. The idea of Metacognition (“Thinking about thinking”) helps people to study effectively.

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Example of Learn by Doing at Open Learning Initiative.

Although the course database is not yet very large, existing courses involve more than just reading or watching content. Student activities such as “Learn by Doing” and “Did I get this?” as well as great course feedback will help you study more effectively and have fun along the way. Moreover, many traditional universities and some MOOCs (Introduction to Psychology as a Science by GeorgiaTech for example) decided to use the OLI as supportive material to enrich student’s experience and create higher engagement.

 

Today we’ve walked you through five promising MOOCs worth watching and trying. Still, there are many more places that can turn your laptop or mobile into a living university. Don’t stop searching for cool online universities – this journey is fun and brings many new experiences, knowledge and friends.

This post is part of a series on the Beginner’s Guide to MOOCs:

0. Introduction

1. Major MOOC Platforms

2. 5 MOOC Platforms you should know about (current post)

3. 5 MOOC Professors to See Before You Die

Extra:

1. AwesomeSlates Contest: Win Up to $750

2. Make All Your Education Count: Redesigning CV

Want to share your experience and the places we didn’t cover? Comment or send us email at hello@accredible.com We’ll be happy to hear from you and cover new MOOCs or anything else you want in our next articles.

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